Kentucky football’s Christopher Rodriguez Jr. galloped and plowed his way through the Missouri defense for 206 yards and two touchdowns and the Southeastern Conference heaped praise on him as the co-offensive player of the week.
He also caught a 5-yard touchdown for his third score of the day in UK’s 35-28 win.
Kentucky has racked up their most yards of total offense through their first 2 games of a season (1,083) since 2013 (1,094).
Rodriguez is the workhorse for the Cats doing the grind on the ground and after two weeks of the season has covered a lot of ground at Kroger Field.
He also became the eighth player in school history to rush for at least 200 yards in a game and it is the most ever for a Wildcat in an SEC opener. In all, he had 28 touches in the gam Saturday.
He runs with a purpose and that proverbial chip on his shoulder making defenders pay who fail to respect him. That was the same fire and drive that Benny Snell Jr. had just before him, and that drive and determination have been valuable weapons for the UK offense.
Apparently, Mizzou was unaware of his pass-catching skills as well forgetting all about him as the Wildcats moved into the Red Zone early in the game. The junior darted outside left and found no one near him allowing him to romp in for the touchdown.
He would have added another rushing one but fumbled at the goal-line and the Tigers recovered.
Rodriguez appeared to be about to burst into the end zone for a score that would have given the Cats a 21-point advantage just before the half. It proved to be a big momentum shifter as the Tigers quickly marched down in under two minutes left in the half, and turned it into seven points. Instead of 28-7, it was 21-14.
He also had one changed from himself after another goal-line fumble late in the game.
Ruled a touchdown at the time for Rodriguez, the SEC office has since changed that giving credit to lineman Eli Cox who recovered it in the endzone for Kentucky. Thankfully that one resulted in points for UK.
But C-Rod is just doing his job and the heavy lifting. Feed him and he is happy.
Through games against Louisianna Monroe and Missouri, Rodriguez ranks second nationally in total rushing yards (331), rushing yards per game (165.5), and total touchdowns (5).
He has moved up 11 spots to 16th on Kentucky’s career rushing list with 1,692 yards. He now has 21 rushing touchdowns in his career and sits one more score behind Snell in the consecutive games with a rushing touchdown with five.
There is a good chance that this weekend he could move up to No. 11. Those just ahead of him are Kentucky greats Rodger Bird (1,699), Jojo Kemp (1,709), Anthony White (1,758), Derrick Ramsey (1,764), and Marc Logan (1,769).
After the game, Mark Stoops was asked about how much he contributes and was his contributions overlooked in place of the fumbles.
“Yeah, you’re right. He had, what, 206 yards. Yeah, I guess he got that fixed. I mean, those are the type of kids we have in our program. You know, they understand. It’s not about any of us in — you know, any individual. You know, it’s for the greater cause. And, you know, he understands that. Hey, we lean on him. We need him. And, you know, late in the game there, he needed a breath, and I was, like, “We need you, man. We need you. Come on, horse. Come on.” And luckily, there was a TV timeout. I think they had somebody hurt.”
I think it’s safe to say our horse is healthy and we need him to run, run, run. Fumbles are part of the game. Defenders stack the box and line daring you to come past them.
Big Blue Nation is just thankful we have a horse to ride named C-Rod.